The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*THORSON, JOHN F.
Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S.
Army, Company G, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. Place and Date Dagami,
Leyte, Philippine Islands, 28 October 1944. Entered Service at: Armstrong, lowa Birth:
Armstrong, lowa. G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945.
He was an automatic rifleman on 28 October 1944, in the attack on Dagami Leyte, Philippine
Islands. A heavily fortified enemy position consisting of pillboxes and supporting
trenches held up the advance of his company. His platoon was ordered to out-flank and
neutralize the strongpoint. Voluntarily moving well out in front of his group, Pvt.
Thorson came upon an enemy fire trench defended by several hostile riflemen and,
disregarding the intense fire directed at him, attacked single-handed He was seriously
wounded and fell about 6 yards from the trench. Just as the remaining 20 members of the
platoon reached him, 1 of the enemy threw a grenade into their midst. Shouting a warning
and making a final effort, Pvt. Thorson rolled onto the grenade and smothered the
explosion with his body. He was instantly killed, but his magnificent courage and supreme
self-sacrifice prevented the injury and possible death of his comrades, and remain with
them as a lasting inspiration.